SJ on the Move

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The journey home

I guess I should say a few words about our return trip. We got up around 5:30 in the morning, as we had to finish up a little bit of packing, take out our last load of trash carefully sorted into 3 different trash bins, and haul all of our belongings down 40 flights of stairs to the street. Okay, it wasn't quite 40 flights, but it sure felt like it - especially when carrying a 50 lb suitcase in each hand. At least it was 'downhill' this time.

Our taxi cab arrived on time, thanks to our friend, Nicole, who offered to call the taxi service. I find speaking German over the phone to be very intimidating, and I didn't want to take any chances with the taxi. So, it was very helpful to have a native call for us.

We arrived at the airport about 2 hours and 15 minutes before our flight, but we barely had a minute to spare. Checking in went reasonably quickly, but getting through security took quite awhile. On the plus side, EU security is now the same as U.S. security, so you don't have to go through security twice on flights to the U.S. On the downside, SJ hadn't slept well in the past few days and had to get up early, so she wasn't the most easygoing toddler.

SJ's uncooperative mood continued for the first few hours on the plane, but then she fell asleep for a pretty good nap. When she awoke, she was an entirely new kid. She had a good time hanging out in her seat, reading the inflight shopping magazine, and walking up and down the aisles. About midway through the flight, she met a 5 year old boy on the plane and they had great fun together. SJ kept referring to him as "Boy", which was very unintentionally funny. "Boy, come here" or "Where did you go, Boy?"

Around 9 hours after taking off from Cologne, we landed in Newark. Unfortunately, you have to load up all your bags, go through customs, and then re-check your bags. Thankfully, as we wheeled our luggage cart with 6 bags stacked on top of it (we looked like a giant size Jenga game) U.S. Customs decided that we deserved a 'wave through' inspection.

After re-checking our bags, we unfortunately had to go through security again - as Newark doesn't have secure transport from Terminal C to A (although they do the other way - go figure). So, after about an hour and a half of lugging suitcases, unpacking laptop bags, riding airtrains, etc., we made it to our final leg of the journey.

When we arrived in Boston, my parents were there to meet us. We found some way of getting all the bags inside or on top of their car, and headed for home. Unfortunately, the tunnel from the airport was under construction - so we went on this elaborate detour that lasted about 30 minutes through rush-hour clogged street, and had a net distance of about 1 mile. Oh well, it's not like we were dead tired and anxious to get home or anything :-)


At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Jill Swilling said...

The little baby above is Mika Marie White, daughter of our good friends, Dan and Rebecca. SJ really had a nice time holding the baby and swinging her in the baby swing!


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